The Food Structuring group
The research of the Food Structuring is aimed at creating novel scientific insights that stimulates the development of new process to make healthy food products in a more sustainable manner. Increased sustainability can be achieved through processing in a more concentrated manner, developing processes with reduced by-product stream production and the development plant-based alternatives for animal based products and ingredients.
We therefore study the effects of processing on concentrated-multicomponent materials. Main element is the understanding of deformation on those materials. For this, we developed our range of shearing devices, aimed at deforming materials in a well-defined manner at relevant processing temperature (often higher than 100 °C). Those conditions can be used to transforms blends of biopolymer into highly fibrous materials, which forms the basis for our work on meat analogues.
However, we also study the fractionation of raw materials. While mostly emphasis is on the creation of highly pure ingredients, we focus on functionality, based on the realization that hardly any food products consists of pure components only. The focus on functionality has potential to make the use of raw materials more efficient and allow the use of milder processing condition.
Finally, we develop processing concepts and frameworks for assessing, monitoring, and designing a resource efficient agri-food production system.